If you’ve spent any amount of time in the hotel industry, you’ve dealt with children who inexplicably get on the wrong flight, check into your hotel thanks to a policy that allows 10-year-olds to use credit cards, and then fend off a pair of vengeful burglars with an elaborate system of booby traps.
For example, less capable employees might be tempted to sneak into a hotel room while a guest is showering, without any clear plan for what they’re going to say when the guest finds a stranger in the room — all because of a vendetta against a boy in elementary school. Home Alone 2 is a weird movie.
Instead, you need a staff member that is capable of saying the magic words: “You’re 10 and unaccompanied, wait here while I call the police.”
Hospitality Online is one of the top sites out there for finding employees in the hospitality industry, and there are a few ways to use it to find that key employee who will turn your hotel from just a place with a bed into a truly memorable guest-centric experience.
1.Build your hotel brand
(Protip: Have a strict “No credit cards allowed that were so obviously stolen that any employee who accepted it should be immediately fired” policy for guests who are checking in.)
Recruiting only when you have an opening presents a problem: you’re feeling rushed to fill that spot, so rather than taking your time while sorting through employees, you grab the best one available.
That’s a risky way of doing business that might land you a bellhop that has good traits, like the patience to accept gum as a tip, but also slightly less desirable traits, like the inability to say, “Hey, you know that kid that checked in alone? He just flashed a huge wad of cash at me. Perhaps we should contact the authorities just in case, or contact the credit card holder at the very least. Also, where did he get all that cash? Did he tell that B.S. story to the ATM, too?”
For maximum success, you need to make recruiting a 24/7 activity. And that means you need to brand your hotel to be attractive to new hires, not just customers.
You can do this on Hospitality Online by creating employer profiles. This gives job seekers a reason to reach out to you. You can provide a photo gallery, a list of features, employee benefits, what employees say about you, and other things that are going to cause a job-seeker to remember you and, more importantly, want to work for you.
Hospitality Online also offers “Custom Career Sites,” which lets you put a branded career page on your website, featuring all of your job opportunities for prospective employees to browse.
2. Write a great ad
(Pictured: Poor decision-making.)
Don’t just push out an ad you spent 5 minutes crafting. Sure, you might get lots of applications, but you’re only making the process harder for yourself by doing this. And you won’t get top of the line employees, but rather concierges who recommend that guests visit Duncan’s Toy Chest, which sells things that would be tossed into the garbage by children in the 19th century. It should have been called Duncan’s Yard Sale. Or perhaps Duncan’s Worthless Treacly Trinket Emporium. They’re better off going to a 7-Eleven.
Finding a good employee is a lot like finding a good customer. You need to find their pain points and then advertise how you’ll solve them. Visit Glassdoor and read reviews from employees at hotels similar to yours to see what they complain about. Then, craft an ad that addresses those issues head-on. Hospitality Online charges $485 per job posting, so you’ll want to get it right (fortunately, you can keep renewing the ad for free until the position is filled).
Keep in mind the following tips when crafting your ad:
- Be specific about the job
- Avoid exaggerating how great the job is
- Be colorful with your short description, as it may be the only thing they read
- Describe your company, but not in too much detail
- Request a cover letter
- Speak directly to the reader, rather than in vague terms like “the successful candidate”
3. Spread your net wide
(Pictured: People who are about to leave a 1-star review on TripAdvisor thanks to your staff.)
You’ll be tempted to post your ad in one job category and in one location, but you need to cast a wide net when you’re looking for the right employee. You want to hire staff who, after hitting the floor as gunfire erupts all around them, finally decide now might be the time to call the authorities, as legit as this 10-year-old guest seems.
For example, if your hotel operates in Washington, D.C., consider posting in Northern Virginia or suburban Maryland as well. And don’t be afraid to go even further in your search for the ideal employee: people are willing to relocate if the job is right. When you create your job advertisement in Hospitality Online, you will be able to enter the location directly under the job title. Generally, you’re going to want to just list your hotel’s location, but if you’ve got a high-paid position and really want to spread your reach, consider posting to neighboring localities.
You can also post your ad in a related job category. For example, if you’re looking for someone to fill a “Guest Services” position, consider also posting the ad in other categories on Hospitality Online like “Operations,” “Administrative,” or even “Sales & Marketing” — after all, serving your guests has a strong marketing aspect to it. The job advertisement form on Hospitality Online has an “additional categories” box to help you do this.
4. Market aggressively
(Pictured: You, after finding out the employee you hired thinks children in elementary school should be given the benefit of the doubt when attempting to make large purchases.)
One additional feature Hospitality Online offers is called “Job Dispatch.” This feature configures a mailing list to automatically broadcast job openings every week. Each email contains a link to each job so recipients can quickly view the openings.
By marketing your company aggressively, you’ll be more likely to snag that model employee — a person who goes above and beyond, like that Pigeon Lady who defeated armed kidnappers with a bucket of birdseed.
This service will come at an additional fee, however, so you may want to shop around with other email marketing services like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Either way, getting your message out there will take time and money, but if you get a great employee out of it, it’s worth it.
Tell us how you avoided hiring Tim Curry
Hiring a bad employee can result in a negative reaction from your guests, like the kind of reaction Kevin McAllister’s father had to a bill of $967 after he happily flew 15 people to Florida and owns a mansion with its own zip code. So if you’re going to use Hospitality Online, take the time it requires to find your next star employee. If you’ve used the site for your own hiring needs, tell us about your experiences. Does Hospitality Online get the job done? What tips do you have? Let us know in the comments below.
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